How to turn coal left in your stockings into diamondsIf Father Christmas was a bit stingy this year when it came to gifts, don’t worry – there are ways to turn Christmas coal into diamonds easily enough.

You’re going to most likely encounter a few rather ill-conceived presents that have been given to you from time to time, and this past Christmas may be one of those times. Whether it’s something that you truly didn’t want or if it’s something you already have and don’t need another one, you can turn the unwanted or unneeded gift into something you can actually use in the current economy – and that means maybe even turning it into cash.

TURN THAT FROWN UPSIDE DOWN

It’s hard to meet ends in the current economic landscape, what with wage freezes, rampant unemployment, and payday lenders such as Wonga and QuickQuid lurking around every corner, just waiting for you to slip up and take out a payday advance to help meet ends. However, you can turn what might be a rather unpleasant New Year right around by taking all the presents you received¬†that you could do without and bring them back to the shop at which they were purchased, as this is quite often the best way to exchange them for something you might actually need this year.

In fact, if you’re lucky you might even be able to return an item for cash in hand, though this may be a rather rare occurrence for the lion’s share of stores. While it’s common to have a shop relax its returns and exchanges policy in January to accommodate Brits with unwelcome presents, you’re still most likely going to just get shop credit or a voucher unless your gift giver had the foresight to include a gift receipt along with your present; even then, you’re unlikely to get cash in hand unless the item was originally purchased that way, and most shoppers tend to use credit cards or debit cards when making Christmas purchases.

TAKE MATTERS INTO YOUR OWN HANDS

If you don’t like the prospect of haggling with shop clerks about an exchange or return, there’s another way that you can relieve yourself of unwanted Christmas presents that could result in a rather lucrative windfall if you’re lucky: selling on the items yourself over the internet. There’s no dearth of online auction sites, with the most well-known and venerable one being eBay, and if you can find someone interested in your item you could end up with quite a pretty penny.

Of course, there are any number of sites out there to sell on unwanted items, and not all of them are auction sites. In fact, many re-sellers use Amazon Marketplace to rid themselves of unwanted goods, trading upon the online retailer’s good name and guarantee – and you don’t have to worry about auctioning an item as you’ll be outright selling it instead.

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Image: HDR Fruitcake by Brent Moore